I’m not much of a Dr. Who fan. I used to watch some of the Tom Baker episodes on PBS as a kid, but other than an odd episode here or there it’s never something I’ve gotten into. So, while working on a project about horror, I found myself watching what many Whovians (Whoville residents?) proclaim as the show’s best— “Blink.”
If you don’t know the general premise, Dr. Who is a time travelling being. In this episode, he finds himself battling (well, vicariously at least) stone statues that come to life whenever you turn your back. It’s kind of a fun setup to begin with, but what really sells the episode are the clever touches. The monsters, the Weeping Angels, don’t devour you like normal monsters. Instead, your fate is a bit more unique (I won’t spoil it here). The good Doctor himself actually is absent for most of the action as he finds himself trapped in another time period trying to figure out ways to communicate and warn the present. That process doubles back on itself a few times ultimately leading to the satisfying conclusion.
But is it scary? Personally, I didn’t find the Angels all that scary (though your fate from them goes a long way). The initial setup as Sally discovers the writing on the wall is a lot creepier. Part of that is the limited running time of television. You don’t have the opportunity to develop tension like you can in a full two-hour film. Still, it rightly earns its spot among the classics of horror television from sheer cleverness alone.